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Specialties:

  • indexing subject specialties

          ---art/art history
             ---history and archaeology
             ---historical texts
             ---law and business
             ---political science/public policy
             ---theology/religion/spirituality

  • developmental editing
  • taxonomies
  • teaching and lecturing

indexing subject specialties: I have a wide range of professional and personal interests, and have indexed books in many subject areas, including biology, forensics, linguistics, literary criticism, neurology, philosophy, psychology, and zoology. I’m certainly willing to consider indexing almost any topic, especially if it’s an interdisciplinary subject and an intellectual challenge. Like most indexers, however, I do tend to specialize in certain areas.

art/art history

Art history was part of my interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in medieval studies, and I have always enjoyed the particular demands of art and art historical texts. Art books are especially labor-intensive because they contain particularly extensive amounts of indexable materials and require a good understanding of different schools, media, and historical periods. Recent projects include catalogues, exhibition-related essay collections, and theoretical studies.

Beyond Price: Value in Culture, Economics, and the Arts, ed. Michael Hutter and David Throsby (Cambridge University Press)

Essays on Native Modernism: Complexity and Contradictions in American Indian Art., National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution)

Identity by Design: Tradition, Change, and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses, ed. Emil Her Many Horses (Collins/National Museum of the American Indian/Smithsonian Institution)

Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist’s Country Estate, ed. Alice Cooney Freylinghuysen (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection, ed. Gary Tinterow (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) – catalogue and essays for a collection of abstract expressionist works

Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan, by Yuko Kikuchi (University of Hawai’i Press)

Tapestry in the Baroque, ed. Thomas P. Campbell (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/Yale University Press)

history and archaeology

I have an undergraduate degree in medieval studies and a PhD in medieval history. I am very comfortable working with prehistoric, classical, medieval, early modern, and modern historical topics in western and Asian cultures, and have indexed a wide variety of historical and archaeological works. I regularly complete projects for Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and other scholarly and university publishers. Some of the more recent titles for which I have provided indexes are:

Ancient Ethics: An Introduction to Greek and Roman Ethical Philosophy, by Susan Sauvé Meyer (Routledge)

Creating Medieval Cairo: Empire, Religion, and Architectural Preservation in Nineteenth-Century Egypt, by Paula Sanders (The American University in Cairo Press)

Early Medieval Christianities, ed. Thomas Noble and Julia Smith (Cambridge University Press) – a volume in the Cambridge History of Christianity series

Harry A. Blackmun: The Outsider Justice, by Tinsely E. Yarbrough (Oxford University Press)

An Ornament for Jewels, by Steven P. Hopkins (Oxford University Press) – on the 12th century theologian and poet Vedantadesika

The Precious Raft of History: The Past, the West, and the Woman Question in China, by Joan Judge (Stanford University Press)

Women and the Comic Plot in Menander, by Ariana Trail (Cambridge University Press)

historical texts

Modern editions of older works, especially early modern and premodern texts, demand special attention. One often has to juggle multiple languages: that of the original writer, previous translators and editors, the modern editor, and the modern audience, all of whom may use the same word in rather different ways. The English word “liberty,” for instance, in seventeenth and eighteenth century works is often used to mean what we might call “free will” rather than the political freedoms with which we associate it. My graduate studies in history and my familiarity with Greek and Latin have provided me with a very useful background for indexing historical texts in the subject areas of law, political science, theology, philosophy, and history.

The Art of English Poesy, by George Puttenham (1589), ed. Frank Whigham and Wayne A. Rebhorn (Cornell University Press)

Collected Works of James Wilson (1774-1796) ed. Kermit L. Hall and Mark D. Hall (Liberty Fund)

The Constitution of England, by Jean Louis De Lolme (1771, in French; 1784, in English), ed. David Lieberman (Liberty Fund)

The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (ca. 176 A.D.), transl. Francis Hutcheson and James Moore (1742), ed. Michael Silverthorne (Liberty Fund)

Secrets of Heaven, by Emanuel Swedenborg (1749-1756), ed. Wouter J. Hanegraaff (Swedenborg Foundation)

law and business

For nine years I worked At Research Institute of America, a legal publishing company, running their indexing department in Alexandria, Virginia. As a sole proprietor of Mertes Editorial Services, I have worked for all the major legal publishing companies. I have indexed an edition of the entire set of publications of the IRA, a twenty-one volume series on employment law, the U.S. tax code, and “Corbin on Contracts,” one of the flagship publications in contract law. For the past twelve years, I have yearly indexed the decisions of the Environmental Appeals Board. I am comfortable working on updates of looseleaf publications, scholarly monographs, popular business handbooks, and works for specialized practitioners. The works below represent only a very small fraction of recent projects undertaken for a wide range of law and business publishers.

Business Performance Measurement: Unifying Theories and Integrating Practice (Second Edition), ed. Andy Neely (Cambridge University Press)

FLC ORTA Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Office of Research and Technology Applications Personnel (Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer)

Electronic Commerce and Communications: Transactions in Digital Information (Matthew Bender/LexisNexis)

Interpreting Construction Contracts: Fundamental Principles for Contractors, Project Managers, and Contract Administrators, by H. Randolph Thomas Jr. and Ralph D. Ellis Jr. (American Society of Civil Engineers)

The Red Book: Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, Second and Third Editions (GAO)

Single Audit Information Service (Thompson Professional Publishing)

political science/public policy

Globalization has made more urgent our need to understand the world, and publishers have responded by producing an ever-greater number of texts in the arena of political science and public policy. I have wide experience in indexing such books, working regularly with the World Bank, Liberty Fund, nongovernmental organizations, and scholarly presses.

Minding the Gaps: Integrating Poverty Reduction Strategies and Budgets for Domestic Accountability, ed. Vera A. Wilhelm and Philipp Krause (The World Bank)

The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law Between the Global and the Local, ed. Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merry (Cambridge University Press)

The Rights of War and Peace, Hugo Grotius (1625), ed. Richard Tuck (Liberty Fund)

State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy (A Worldwatch Institute Report), ed. Linda Starke (W. W. Norton & Company)

Unleashing India’s Innovation: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, ed. Mark A. Dutz (The World Bank)

theology/religion/spirituality

I obtained a postdoctoral certificate in systematic theology from Blackfriars College, University of Oxford; and of course, as a medievalist, I have always been interested in the history of religion. I am also comfortable working with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew texts. I have created indexes for the bible three times, and I have indexed for a number of scholarly and popular publishers of religious, theological, and spiritual texts, including the following recent works:

Deification and Grace, by Daniel Keating (Sapientia Press)

Exodus 19-40:A New Translation, with Introduction and Commentary, by William C. Propp (The Anchor Bible/Doubleday)

The Invention of Sacred Tradition, ed. James R. Lewis and Otto Hammer (Cambridge University Press)

New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, ed. John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, and Thomas J. Green (Canon Law Society of America/Paulist Press)

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion, ed. William J. Wainright (Oxford University Press)

The Jewish Study Bible, ed. Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler (Jewish Publication Society Tanakh translation; Oxford University Press)

The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Rights in Early Modern Calvinism, by John Witte, Jr. (Cambridge University Press)

The Teleological Grammar of the Moral Act, by Steven A. Long (Sapientia Press)


developmental editing: Even the best writers sometimes need assistance in managing the content of their work. Any indexer will tell you that some books are so well put together that they practically index themselves: the critical topics and the design of the argument are always apparent to the reader. Because of my indexing background, my great strength is in the reorganization of material into a cohesive structure with a strong narrative flow. I have removed 500 pages from an unwieldy 1200 page manuscript to create a coherent and well-argued text, and found ways to restructure the remainder into a second, published volume. I have helped authors with a solid knowledge base but an overly technical style rewrite and reorder their text for a popular audience. I can work with both editors and authors, small associations, and large scholarly publishers. If you would like to know more about my experience and skills, please contact me (see the home page or contact page.)

taxonomies: A taxonomy is a classificatory scheme for organizing large amounts of data, usually but not necessarily on a website. While they work rather differently from an index, the same organizational skills are used to create them. I have built taxonomies for a number of private sites and several for sites in the public domain (see, for instance, the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s taxonomy at hfma.org/library). My goal is to produce an organizational structure whose logic is immediately apparent to the user. I can build the taxonomy, design its display face, organize and execute the assignment of documents to their taxonomical categories, and serve as a consultant to organizations in the continuing maintenance of their sites.

teaching and lecturing: After six years as an academic I moved into publishing, but teaching is still in my blood. Currently I teach a course on indexing for the Catholic University of America as an adjunct professor, and I have given my popular lecture “NASCAR Indexing: Creating and Maintaining Speed” to many local and national groups. I am a regular speaker at the American Society of Indexers (ASI) national conferences, and to local ASI chapters and groups, and in 2007 was a featured speaker at the Indexing Society of Canada national conference. I have also taught workshops for the Special Libraries Association and the American Association of Law Librarians. While I do not take on private, individual instruction, I am available to teach corporate workshops on indexing and taxonomies and to speak to association meetings and conference groups.


Copyright © Kate Mertes 2007

 
   
 
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